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October 9, 2008 | by  | in Online Only | [ssba]

Workers’ Party announce party list

The Workers’ Party announced their party list for the 2008 general elections this afternoon, and it features a few names familiar around the University:

The Party is contesting the party list vote for the first time in these elections.

“Our main campaign slogan for these elections is ‘workers should be running the country!’ and this is certainly reflected in our list of candidates,” says Workers Party national organiser Tim Bowron.

“All of our candidates are proven fighters whose only loyalty is to the working class who create all of the wealth in society – not the parasitical boss class that currently consumes most of it.”

1. Don Franks (Wellington Central)
2. Daphna Whitmore (Manukau East)
3. Nick Kelly (list only)
4. Paul Hopkinson (Christchurch East)
5. Byron Clark (Christchurch Central)
6. Jasmine Freemantle (list only)
7. Rebecca Broad (list only)
8. Tim Bowron (list only)
9. Jen Isle (list only)
10. Heleyni Pratley (list only)
11. Joel Cosgrove (list only)
12. Marika Pratley (list only)
13. Josh Glue (list only)
14. Nick Scullin (list only)

Profiles of the above candidates are available at:


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Comments (50)

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  1. Gibbon says:

    what’s the point of having at list of 14
    let alone a list of one

  2. Shitkicker McGee says:

    How incestuous! Smelly Kelly, his missus, Cosgrove, his missus, and her sister.

  3. Ken says:

    What is the point of having a party and working within the system if they advocate revolution through extra legal means. Why not just band with other commie parties like the Alliance and actually effect change through the system? Why believe in a theorhetical system that is irrifutably proven to be wrong and the work of a guy smoking crack.

    If the workers of New Zealand unite and vote WP this election and they get 5% of the vote, who will be our president? I don’t know which will be worse. Jasmine in Parliament or Sonny Thomas as VUWSA president.

    These are all questions we must ask ourselves when we laugh at the works party.

  4. Hippo says:

    What a joke. A bunch of conceited, self serving bourgeois masquerading as Marxists.

  5. Tadpole says:


  6. Neal Perry says:

    “I can separate that from the [presidency]. I don’t go into my classes and say, ‘Hey, vote Workers’ Party!’ and hand out my propaganda. Obviously being a member of the Party shapes the way I view things. I would of course endorse VUWSA policy. Anything that goes contrary to that, it doesn’t matter.

    It’s about VUWSA. I’m not at VUWSA as President representing the Workers Party. I’m at VUWSA as President, representing VUWSA and representing students.”

    Jasmine Freemantle. 29/09/08. Please remember this Jasmine. Please don’t fuck up like Joel did.

  7. “I can separate that from the [presidency]. I don’t go into my classes and say, ‘Hey, vote Workers’ Party!’ and hand out my propaganda. Obviously being a member of the Party shapes the way I view things. I would of course endorse VUWSA policy. Anything that goes contrary to that, it doesn’t matter.

    It’s about VUWSA. I’m not at VUWSA as President representing the Workers Party. I’m at VUWSA as President, representing VUWSA and representing students.”

    This is an intelligent and nuanced stance which is long overdue in VUWSA politics, and I hope her constituents will appreciate this. Anyway, I look forward to seeing how this works out for her.

  8. blogette says:

    its still VUWSA policy to support a flat tax – will jasmine go around advocating that? me thinks not.

  9. Michael Oliver says:

    This party is in dire need of a PR makeover.

  10. youaretheonlyonesmokingthiscigarette says:

    HAH, if ur gunna stage a revolution at least do it with decent personalities.

  11. Don Franks says:

    Thanks for the support there guys. Ken, may I suggest some priorities for you. Get your spelling sorted out before losing sleep over the prospect of Jasmine getting in on the party list.
    If I get elected I’ll shout you a dictionary.

  12. Wee Hamish says:

    Oh kia ora,
    Kia ora, Don Franks and his dictionary initiative, kia ora

  13. Looked like the Communist Party meeting on Cuba Street today was really going off. Don Franks, Jasmine, Smelly Kelly and Cosgrove were the complete list of partygoers. Woot woot.

  14. Wee Hamish says:

    Kia ora, unapologetic hammering of a tiny political movement, kia ora.

  15. Ken says:

    If that is actually Don Franks, that is too funny. Guess how that computer your typing on got to you. CAPITALISM (I even wrote it in capitals for you).

    Where will you get the money to buy me a dictionary? If you do get elected you cease being a ‘worker’ and you start being a leach off my work. So technically any gift you give me comes as a direct result of my labour. That’s pretty patronising, buying me a gift with my own money. It is also kinda funny. The reason we have dictionaries: CAPITALISM.

    Also if you “shout me a dictionary” can you not shout it to me while standing on a crate box wearing ridiculously small red shorts. The colour may be revolutionary but it does nothing for your pasty thighs.

  16. Gibbon says:

    Ken burns the opposition
    Franks flabbergasted

  17. Wee Hamish says:

    Now that we’re aware of the colour of Don Franks’ thighs, let’s speculate as to the texture.

  18. Ken says:


  19. Laura McQuillan says:

    I saw his legs from afar and they looked furry (like a cat) and pale. But the red probably didn’t help accentuating his tan. Maybe more people would join in their meetings if he wore longer shorts? Short ones are a bit.. uhh paedophiley.

  20. Don Franks says:

    Ken, your loud capital letters about capitalism don’t drown out the facts of the matter. The computers that we type on are all produced by workers, as are all goods and services. You can’t have production without workers; you have production without capitalism. Most human production has taken place before capitalism existed. When capitalism has been replaced by socialism, we will still have production.
    Your last post indicates clearly that you could still do with a dictionary. I can loan you my spare one right now if you don’t want to wait untill after the election.

  21. Better look up a few words before you go giving that away, Donnie.

    PS. I hear Johnson and Johnson make a good gradual self-tanner.

  22. Wee Hamish says:

    Kia ora, Don Franks’ caressable thighs, kia ora.

  23. Wee Hamish says:

    Man, Shitkicker, we make this blog worthwhile.

  24. Matthew_Cunningham says:

    As thrilling as Don’s tiny red shorts and pasty white thighs are, it’s not his body hair or his choice of fashion that is standing for election. I don’t have a lot of respect for the Workers Party because I feel their platform is based more on empty revolutionary slogans than it is on practical policies, but Don strikes me as one of the few who has something intelligent and worthwhile to say.


  25. Mr Magoo says:

    Well really, it’s the whole package isn’t it. People are always whinging about Helen’s teeth. It’s time we stood up in defence of pants.

  26. Ken says:

    Actually Don about 99% of the computer you’re typing on was created and assembled by a machine with the aide of a computer. Since the industrial revolution more and more menial jobs have gone, and rightly so, to machines that can do them better than you ever could.

    One can only assume that by giving power to the workers, you’re a bunch of modern day luddites and saboteurs (used in the original sense of the word). You’re right, you can have production without capitalism, but socialism, communism – Command Economy – just isn’t efficient. Especially if your plan is to take jobs off perfectly good machines.

  27. jonno says:

    “Don about 99% of the computer you’re typing on was created and assembled by a machine”

    OMG the computers are now taking over… they have started to reproduce! I once saw a movie like this… it was about a robot.

  28. Gibbon says:

    sixty year old revolutionary is a sad look

  29. Wee Hamish says:

    will the revolution send me a text before it comes, that’d be wicked heh

  30. Babushka says:

    Yeah you will get a text from Joel “there will still be iPhones around after the Revolution” Cosgrove

  31. chris says:

    seriously though, nobody needs to worry. nobodies going to vote them in, and they’ll go back to their working class positions. look at nick kelly, we gave him false confidence. first he’s president of vuwsa, then he Tries-to be mayor, and now he’s a bus driver. if they dont learn their place in life, theyre going to end up there anyway.

  32. Tania Mead says:

    Nice work, chris. You’re just so close to becoming a fully fledged bigot! Unprompted criticism of women’s rights: check. Syntaxically icky criticism of the working class: check. What’s next, bit of a diatribe on Islamos? Hatin on the gays? Can’t wait. Just ask Don to lend you his dictionary first.

  33. Ken says:

    Actually he’ll have to borrow it from me. Don came over before. However I won’t be able to use it. It is a Biographic Dictionary of Chinese Communism. I looked up Capitalism in in there though and it said this:

    “You know what Capitalism is? Getting fucked!”

    I think there might have been something lost in translation.

    Oh how well the Maoists are doing in Nepal Mr. Franks. It is interesting to note that you supported them very recently. Have you changed your tune? Or are you still for the militantly violent overthrow of a peasant population with the backing of Chinese money? Is that what you have in store for New Zealand?

  34. Gibbon says:

    I read that as more of a diatribe directed at the useless fuckwits in the Workers Party, not workers in general.
    Try to rein in your distain and think objectively.

  35. Wee Hamish says:

    I’d appreciate it if Tania unfurled her disdain with reckless and unforgiving abandon.

  36. Eli Boulton says:

    Ken – And who made the machines that made the computers? Your arguments against Marxism, and your spelling, are both deeply flawed.

  37. Ken says:

    Eli. Machines in part made the machines. It is called mechanisation. There are pleanty of other arguments agaisnt marxism. Like the fact it doesn’t work, and it, more so than my arguments, is deeply flawed. The reason we have everything around us is because of capitalism. From the clothes we wear to the computer you type on is all a product of capitalism. I’m not saying its a fair system. Just that all marxists are hypocrites. If you really wanted to do something about it, show us that our marxist way of life is better by rejecting capitalism totally. Oh wait thats been tried and it failed.

  38. jonno says:

    “The reason we have everything around us is because of capitalism.”

    Ken, your simplistic understanding of history is outstanding. Well done my boy, top marks!

    Looks like capitalism is also on its way out too!

  39. Spuddo Manus says:

    Even Joel Cosgrove’s iPhone is capitalism!

  40. Jackson Wood says:

    “The reason we have everything around us is because of capitalism.”

    I heard that God actually bought this universe from a used creations salesman. It took six days to negotiate the lease and on the seventh day he signed it.

  41. Karl Marx says:

    …modern bourgeois modes of production can be designated as progressive epochs in the economic formation of society. The bourgeois relations of production are the last antagonistic form of the social process of production — antagonistic not in the sense of individual antagonisms, but of one arising from the social conditions of life of the individuals; at the same time the productive forces developing in the womb of bourgeois society create the material conditions for the solution of that antagonism.

    Read me before you know me, Ken.

  42. Ken says:

    Don “For Fucks Sake” Franks was flanked by “Furious” Freemantle, “Smelly” Kelly and Cosgrove “The iPhone Kommunist” as they conversed with us capitalists in Manners Mall this afternoon.

    An ever worse fashion crime than tiny red shorts has been commited on Don’s behalf: Dreaded DOUBLE DENIMS in combination with the uniform of the prole: SNEANS! (Jeans + Sneakers = sneans = fashion crime of the 80s 90s and today.)

    I realy dont care what you say. Capitalism and through capitalism, competition, delivers us everything we see around us, from the Denim Shirt, (Levi started the Levi straus denim company in order to make money), to the sneakers he was wearing on his feet, and the beer crate underneath them. It provides us with diversity, and choice, it means that we can do what we want, when we want. There are no motivators for change and development in a communist ideal. So fuck you all. I’m voting Libertarianz.

  43. Matthew_Cunningham says:


    As a fan of both jeans and sneakers – especially when worn together – I feel I must stand up in defence of this wondrous combination of fashion items. Don’t you know that fashion prejudice is the number one killer of cute little puppies in this country? That shit just aint on.

    Seriously though, whilst I respect your position on free market capitalism, I agree with Eli that your argument is flawed. Capitalism is not the end-all be-all of production in the world. Production can, and has, existed under other forms of social and economic organisation – such as socialism. Whilst communist-style command economies are not best known for consumer goods they have still on occasion provided a reasonable amount of such goods to their subject populations. The amount, availability and quality of these goods have almost universally been inferior to those provided under a capitalist economy, but this is often due to inferior production and assembly lines rather than the flaws in the socialist mode of production itself. The Soviet Union is a prime example of this, whereby the production ‘backbone’ of the country was built on a crash program of industrialisation launched by Stalin in the 1930’s that, whilst successful, came at the cost of assembly quality – not to mention tens of millions of innocent lives.

    Don is correct, in a sense, that production can exist without ‘capitalism’, but not vice versa. However, I have deliberately framed ‘capitalism’ in inverted commas here because I feel that Don’s definition and use of the word ‘capitalism’ is ambiguous and incorrect. Who are the ominous ‘capitalists’ of socialist rhetoric? Are they the CEO’s, the shareholders, the upper management, the regional directors, the project managers? What the Workers Party fail to understand is that each of these categories are in fact themselves workers as well; like the operational level employees underneath them they too contribute a service, or ‘labour’, to the organisation, and are in turn rewarded for their labour value. The scale of this remuneration is varied and often unfair; however, this inequality is better addressed by union action and federal legislation rather than tearing down the entire economic system itself. Thus, the core campaign argument of the Workers Party – that the capitalist class ‘produce nothing themselves’ whilst ‘legally stealing’ and ‘taking the profits’ of the working class – is, well, wrong.

    So, if we conclude from this that the dreaded ‘capitalist class’ within Workers Party paraphenalia are in fact the layers of management within any organisation, then what happens when a socialist revolution occurs? Well, the workers appropriate the means of production, yes – and then what? How do they organise said means of production after appropriating it? By reverting to the only means of organisation that makes sense – creating managers, and directors, and so forth. The point is, there will always be a hierarchy within any business system – or any political system, for that matter – with some holding title and rank above others. Claiming that this is justified due to the fact that the new system will be run by workers conveniently ignores the fact that the original managerial system were in fact also workers – workers either promoted internally or hired externally, but nevertheless still providers of labour in some form.

    Now, with all of this being said, I completely agree with you that capitalism and the free market are far more efficient that socialism. The national and global economy, coupled with the means of production, are infinetely more complex today than they were in the budding days of the Industrial Revolution during which Karl Marx lived. The only system that has proven itself capable of managing this dynamic process of supply and demand is free market capitalism because it promotes efficiency, accountability, organisational robustness and, most importantly, an incentive system capable of promoting all of these qualities. The bloated and cumbersome mechanism of a command economy is woefully unsuited to this task. Mikhail Gorbachev, the last General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, lamented this fact in his memoirs when he stated that “the Achilles heel of socialism was the inability to link the socialist goal with the provision of incentives for efficient labour and the encouragement of initiative on the part of individuals. It became clear in practice that a market provides such incentives best of all.”

    Now in saying all of this, I am leaving myself open to rebuttal. Don, if you are reading this, i’d like for you to respond with your positions. When i’ve tried to engage members of the Workers Party in open debate in the past i’ve been met with naught but revolutionary slogans and inappropriate slander, so I am keen to get the point of view of someone who I feel is intelligent enough to provide a well thought out and reasonable response. That’s not a dig at your party, by the way – i’m sure there are many others within it who are also reasonable and intelligent people. Will you or any of your fellow party members be campaigning in Manners Mall again anytime soon?


  44. Matthew_Cunningham says:

    Oh, incidentally, I forgot to add: I am not a supporter of laissez-fare capitalism and, by extension, the Libertarianz. I believe in a degree of state intervention in the economy to ensure universal access to essential services, fair and equitable business practice, and an effort toward the redistribution of wealth. I just realised upon re-reading my last post that it sounded like I was against any and all forms of state intervention – when in fact I believe nothing of the sort!


  45. Karl Marx says:

    “there will always be a hierarchy within any business system – or any political system, for that matter”
    This is not true. It’s the same kind of justification people gave in the past for racism, sexism, slavery, etc.

    I recommend you read/watch Michael Albert.

  46. Matthew_Cunningham says:

    Karl Marx:

    I disagree. The kinds of justifications that have been given in the past for sexism, racism, or any other number of “-isms” have been different.

    More so, they have usually been thinly veiled, morally reprehensible justifications at that. Gender discrimination, both historical and currently, is often justified through a perceived need to “protect” women, whereas racism is an aggressive and often violent manifestation of an irrational emotional fear of difference, backed by pseudoscientific beliefs in “racial purity” and “eugenics”.

    The hierarchical nature of systems is, however, both natural and necessary. This is not implied in a sense of superiority and inferiority, by the way. If you have a task that needs managing, then you must have a manager. Imagine building a skyscraper, or a bridge, or an information system, or the Panama Canal, without some form of managerial structure. The entire thing would be a mess. Regardless of what form of management one implements, or how much “direct democracy” style involvement there is in it (ala factory councils, worker representatives), there will still be some form of leadership structure in place.

    The Soviet Union is a prime example of this – a bloated and cumbersome bureaucracy extending into virtually every area of everyday life. All people may be equal, but you still have commisars and workers, general secretaries and party secretaries, Supreme Soviets and Republic Soviets, regions and oblasts… the list goes on. You might counter that the end goal of socialism is the “withering away of the state”… well, this is something that simply has never occured. If anything, the Soviet bureaucracy simply became MORE complicated as time progressed. Ironically, the political system closest to statelessness, excluding anarchism, is libertarian capitalism – virtually the opposite of socialism.

    Incidentally, I have said all of this without having watched the film at the link you posted. I am at work at the moment but will look later tonight.


  47. Electrum Stardust says:

    In Soviet Russia, all people were surely NOT equal…

    And do not mistake role differentiation with a “hierachy”. In a truly ‘equal’ world, anyone selected to a leadership role, for a particular task at any given time, will not be considered as being ‘above’ the others in the team. There is nothing particularly ‘sacred’ or ‘noble’ about doing the coordinating work in an area that an individual just happens (for whatever reason) to be good at. Different strengths, and therefore different roles, for different people, at different times, for different purposes – that’s all.

    And don’t tell me that the “state” has always existed. It was invented very, VERY late in the history of human evolution. (And what existed prior to that was definitely NOT “libertarian capitalism” – thank God.)

  48. Matthew_Cunningham says:

    Electrum Stardust:

    You’re right, the Soviet Union did not have the best track record for equality. My statement that “all people may be equal” should have, in the SU instance, been enhanced with the qualifier of “in theory”.

    I use the term “hierarchy” not to denote sacredness, nor nobility, nor superiority versus inferiority, but to refer to a person, or body of people, who possess some form of authority. I thought i’d made this clear in my statements above. Your definition “role differentiation” is very apt, but remember that in a political and organisational setting there is both horizontal and vertical role differentiation.

    Even Michael Albert’s “participatory economonics” requires some form of group authority to determine economic behaviour and another form of managerial structure to carry out the recommendations of the affected producer and consumer councils. Additionally, who decides the basis upon which these councils come into being? Who legislates their existence? Who determines under what conditions a particular council is classified as “affected” and therefore involved in a particular economic decision? Add to this other psychological factors such as groupthink, herd behaviour, obedience to authority, agentic state theory, and singular domination, and you’ll see that there are tendencies towards authoritarian behaviour in any group of people, regardless of their profession toward “direct democracy”.

    I agree completely that the state is a recent invention. The concept of the “nation” as we currently perceive it is only a few hundred years old at most. However, before the advent of secular government there was the concept of “divine right”, whereby a King, Queen, and a noble and / or religious caste assumed the right of rank and title because of an ordained hereditary right to wield authority over others. Capitalism, along with various other economic “-isms”, is equally new – however, the concept of management and authority, independant of economic ideology, is not. Hell, i’m sure that even the construction of the Pyramids must have gone hand in hand with weedy little overseers holding stone clipboards.


  49. Karl Marx says:

    “The hierarchical nature of systems is, however, both natural and necessary. This is not implied in a sense of superiority and inferiority”
    The same was once said about gender/race inequalities. There are plenty of systems which aren’t hierarchical.

  50. Annoyed_Citizen says:

    Why is this even news workers party is a joke, its only here because they actually try to play politics at Vic, they are just as fascist as Stalin, taking my money spending it on bullshit like this communist propaganda.

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